Australian Birds of Prey in Flight: A Photographic Guide [Annotated]

Birds of prey spend most of their time in flight, and, when viewed from the ground, they are notoriously hard to identif

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Australian Birds of Prey in Flight: A Photographic Guide [Annotated]

Table of contents :
Cover
Title
Copyright
Foreword
Contents
Acknowledgements
Introduction
SPECIES PROFILES
Osprey
Black-shouldered Kite
Letter-winged Kite
Square-tailed Kite
Black-breasted Buzzard
Pacific Baza
Black Kite
Whistling Kite
Brahminy Kite
White-bellied Sea-Eagle
Brown Goshawk
Collared Sparrowhawk
Grey Goshawk
Red Goshawk
Spotted Harrier
Swamp Harrier
Wedge-tailed Eagle
Little Eagle
Nankeen Kestrel
Brown Falcon
Australian Hobby
Grey Falcon
Black Falcon
Peregrine Falcon
Oriental Honey-Buzzard
Eurasian Hobby
SPECIES COMPARISONS
Red Goshawk, Square-tailed Kite, Brown Falcon and Swamp Harrier
Brown Falcon, Black Falcon, Peregrine Falcon and Grey Falcon
Brown Goshawk, Collared Sparrowhawk, Grey Goshawk and Grey Falcon
Brown Goshawk, Brown Falcon, Grey Goshawk and Grey Falcon
Whistling Kite, Black Kite, Swamp Harrier and Spotted Harrier
Osprey, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Wedge-tailed Eagle and Black-breasted Buzzard
Brahminy Kite, Little Eagle, Whistling Kite and Pacific Baza
Nankeen Kestrel, Black-shouldered Kite, Australian Hobby and Grey Falcon
Photographic acknowledgements
Index

Citation preview

AUSTRALIAN BIRDS OF PREY IN FLIGHT A PHOTOGRAPHIC GUIDE

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AUSTRALIAN BIRDS OF PREY IN FLIGHT A PHOTOGRAPHIC GUIDE

Richard Seaton, Mat Gilfedder and Stephen Debus

Osprey p. 6

Black-shouldered Kite p. 10

Letter-winged Kite p. 14

Pacific Baza p. 26 Black-breasted Buzzard p. 22

Black Kite p. 30 Whistling Kite p. 34

Brown Goshawk p. 46

Brahminy Kite p. 38

Square-tailed Kite p. 18

White-bellied Sea-Eagle p. 42

Collared Sparrowhawk p. 50

Grey Goshawk p. 54

Spotted Harrier p. 62

Red Goshawk p. 58

Swamp Harrier p. 66 Wedge-tailed Eagle p. 70

Nankeen Kestrel p. 78 Little Eagle p. 74

Black Falcon p. 94

Brown Falcon p. 82

Peregrine Falcon p. 98

Grey Falcon p. 90

Australian Hobby p. 86

Eurasian Hobby p. 106 Oriental Honey-Buzzard p. 102

© Richard Seaton, Mat Gilfedder and Stephen Debus 2019 All rights reserved. Except under the conditions described in the Australian Copyright Act 1968 and subsequent amendments, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, duplicating or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. Contact CSIRO Publishing for all permission requests. A catalogue record for this book is available from the National Library of Australia. Published by: CSIRO Publishing Locked Bag 10 Clayton South VIC 3169 Australia Telephone: +61 3 9545 8400 Email: [email protected] Website: www.publish.csiro.au Front cover: (clockwise from top left) Black-breasted Buzzard (Laurie Ross/tracksbirding.com.au); Grey Goshawk (Russell Jenkins); Nankeen Kestrel (Mat Gilfedder); Swamp Harrier (Bernie McRitchie); Red Goshawk (James Watson) Set in 9.5/12.5 Adobe Minion Pro and Myriad Pro Edited by Peter Storer Cover design by Andrew Weatherill Typeset by Desktop Concepts Pty Ltd, Melbourne Printed in China by Toppan Leefung Printing Limited CSIRO Publishing publishes and distributes scientific, technical and health science books, magazines and journals from Australia to a worldwide audience and conducts these activities autonomously from the research activities of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of, and should not be attributed to, the publisher or CSIRO. The copyright owner shall not be liable for technical or other errors or omissions contained herein. The reader/user accepts all risks and responsibility for losses, damages, costs and other consequences resulting directly or indirectly from using this information. The paper this book is printed on is in accordance with the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council ®. The FSC® promotes environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests.

Nov18_01

Foreword

Along with shorebirds, seabirds and the ever pesky thornbills, Australia’s magnificent birds of prey are among our most challenging species to identify – often because we see them far away. After 40 years of birding I am still consistently in error, or simply baffled, especially when individuals are seen flying in the distance. This long overdue book relies on the experience of many birders, bird photographers and ornithologists who can pinpoint precisely what features to look for when seeing a bird of prey in the sky. Photographs of all Australia’s birds of prey in flight at different angles have been cleverly selected and summarised – they will assist every birder, from the experienced to the novice. The book reflects a unique partnership between citizen and professional scientists

who are committed to accurately identifying birds of prey for a range of reasons. For photographers, it is the art of taking the perfect shot of a gorgeous bird in flight, capturing its unique shape and plumage. For birders, it is often just a glimpse of a silhouette, and identification is reliant on a subtle combination of shape, size and movement. I endorse Australian Birds of Prey in Flight as an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to identify, and marvel at, that distant soaring predator. Hugh Possingham FNAS FAA The Chief Scientist of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow, The University of Queensland

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Contents

Foreword vii Acknowledgements xi Introduction 1

SPECIES PROFILES

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Osprey 6 Black-shouldered Kite 10 Letter-winged Kite 14 Square-tailed Kite 18 Black-breasted Buzzard 22 Pacific Baza 26 Black Kite 30 Whistling Kite 34 Brahminy Kite 38 White-bellied Sea-Eagle 42 Brown Goshawk 46 Collared Sparrowhawk 50 Grey Goshawk 54 Red Goshawk 58 Spotted Harrier 62 Swamp Harrier 66 Wedge-tailed Eagle 70 Little Eagle 74 Nankeen Kestrel 78 Brown Falcon 82 Australian Hobby 86 Grey Falcon 90 Black Falcon 94 Peregrine Falcon 98 Oriental Honey-Buzzard 102 Eurasian Hobby 106

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AUS TR ALIAN BIR DS OF PR E Y IN FLIGH T

SPECIES COMPARISONS

111

Red Goshawk, Square-tailed Kite, Brown Falcon and Swamp Harrier

112–113

Brown Falcon, Black Falcon, Peregrine Falcon and Grey Falcon

114–115

Brown Goshawk, Collared Sparrowhawk, Grey Goshawk and Grey Falcon

116–117

Brown Goshawk, Brown Falcon, Grey Goshawk and Grey Falcon

118–119

Whistling Kite, Black Kite, Swamp Harrier and Spotted Harrier 120–121 Osprey, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Wedge-tailed Eagle and Black-breasted Buzzard

122–123

Brahminy Kite, Little Eagle, Whistling Kite and Pacific Baza

124–125

Nankeen Kestrel, Black-shouldered Kite, Australian Hobby and Grey Falcon

126–127

Photographic acknowledgements 128 Index 131

x

Acknowledgements

This book benefited immensely from the generosity of the bird photography community. We received many thousands of images (far more than we could ever use) from the following people: Richard and Margaret Alcorn, Terence Alexander, Mick Atzeni, Scott Baker, John Barkla, Chris Barnes, Plaxy Barratt, Paul Brooks, Todd Burrows, Rebecca Citroni, Greg Clancy, Chris Cope, Andrew Crouch, Jo Culican, Kate Delaney, Charles Dove, Philip Dubbin, Elizabeth Ferguson, Keith D. Fisher, Adam Fry, Jesse Gibson, Barb Gilfedder, Geoff Groom, Neil Hickman, Nick Hickman, Nigel Jackett, Micha V. Jackson, Russell Jenkins, Ross D. Jones, Peter Kyne, Judy Leitch, Ákos Lumnitzer, Daniel Mantle, Andrew Martin, Niven McCrie, Bernie McRitchie, Bob McTrusty, Deborah Metters, Euan Moore, Bill Moorhead, Jack Moorhead, Stephen Murray, Jon Norling, Jerry Olsen, Steve Percival, Nathan Piesse, Rawshorty, Jeremy Ringma, Cathy Robinson, Laurie Ross, Robert Schoeb, Jason Searle, Luke Shelley, Jennie Stock, Brian L. Sullivan, Tom Tarrant, Nigel Voaden, Delia Walker, Richard Waring, James Watson, Alexander Watson, Bruce Wedderburn and David Whelan. Specific photographic acknowledgements are at the end of the book. Deepest apologies to anyone whose contributions we have overlooked. In recognition of all the images that have been donated to create this book, all proceeds arising from its sale will be

donated to the BirdLife Australia Raptor Group (BARG). Richard Seaton: Thanks to Darryl Jones (Griffith University), Liz Gould (South-east Queensland Catchments NRM), Ashley Bunce (Department of Environment of Heritage Protection) and the Birds Queensland Committee for providing the funds and support to get the surveys for Red Goshawks underway that spawned the idea for this book back in 2013. I thank Greg Czechura, Rod Hobson, David Stewart (junior), Stephen Debus, Jerry Olsen, David BakerGabb, Penny Olsen and Greg Clancy for advice and for providing feedback on the all-too-frequent red herrings during those surveys. Thanks also to Mick Atzeni for all that time spent poring over images, scratching our heads and of course for the seed that started this project. Finally, thanks to Robin Cutts for showing me Merlins, Buzzards, Peregrines and Red Kites as a kid in the UK and opening the door to a lifelong passion for birds of prey. Mat Gilfedder: It has been a privilege to work on this book with two amazing raptor experts who are so keen to share their knowledge. I am very thankful to all the wonderful bird photographers out there who willingly shared their images to help make this project a reality. We acknowledge the many observers who have recorded their Australian birds of prey observations in the eBird database (http://ebird.org/australia). These data xi

AUS TR ALIAN BIR DS OF PR E Y IN FLIGH T

underpinned the creation of new maps showing the expected range of each species. We are grateful for the detailed feedback provided by Richard and Margaret Alcorn, Danny Rogers and David Stewart on the draft maps. Stephen Debus: I gratefully acknowledge the start my late parents, Graham

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and Beatrice Debus, gave me in early opportunities to observe, read about and identify raptors, and their continued support to graduate level and beyond. Over the years I have benefited from discussion and shared field experiences with the Australian raptor experts named above by Richard.

Introduction

When seen flying, most birds of prey are far away, and at an angle or in light conditions that don’t show key plumage patterns. Learning how to identify any group of birds takes time, but for those with patience and persistence, it is hugely rewarding and in time observers can expect to be able to identify the majority of birds of prey they encounter. From the ferocious little Collared Sparrowhawks flying through urban back yards to the massive Wedge-tailed Eagles soaring over the outback, Australia’s birds of prey are nothing short of magnificent. We hope this book provides the information and inspiration for more people to open the door into the mesmerising world of Australia’s birds of prey. Many birdwatchers use cameras to take images of the birds they see to identify them. However, despite this book being full of still images, we would generally caution against relying on cameras and still images for the identification of raptors in flight, at least initially. Through experience, we have found that the key to identifying raptors in flight (and at a distance) is not so much how well you see the bird, but how well you observe and record the key features and behaviours that you see. Watching birds as they pass with binoculars, or even with the naked eye, enables you to get a far better impression of the relative size, shape and behaviour of the bird that you are looking at: what birdwatchers refer to as the GISS of the bird

(General Impression of Size and Shape), often also referred to as ‘jizz’. Still images, especially when the bird was photographed from just one angle, can be misleading and the observer will often miss features that would have been seen if they had paid more attention to the bird itself rather than on securing an image (or even a set of images). Similarly, people are often tempted to use telescopes to see passing raptors at a greater magnification, but we would argue that being able to see the bird in greater detail is not the main factor effecting the ability to identify it (also telescopes are very cumbersome to use in the hand and in many situations are impractical for getting good observations of birds of prey in Australia). It may sound like an obvious thing to say, but learning how to observe carefully is the first step in correctly identifying birds of prey. Learning to observe key features takes practice, especially when observations are all too often fleeting. It is the intent of this book not only to reduce the time it takes the beginner to learn the features to look for, but also to provide a reference text for the more experienced raptor watcher. Equipment wise, we recommend using binoculars with a magnification of between 8× and 10× with an objective lens size of around 40 mm. This provides a good compromise between improving the level of detail the observer can see and their ability to quickly locate and follow a passing bird. 1

AUS TR ALIAN BIR DS OF PR E Y IN FLIGH T

Light, background, angle, distance, age, moult and the length of time a bird is observed can all have a significant effect on what the observer sees and hence their ability to correctly identify what they are looking at. The images in this book have been chosen to depict each species from a range of angles, distances and light conditions. Some species have very distinctive features that are easy to observe in most situations. Other species have many features in common and look very similar and can be distinguished readily only with a practised eye. The text also includes commonly observed behavioural traits that will help in identification (experienced observers often identify a bird by how it behaves during flight). This book attempts to outline the main distinguishing features of each species (observers with a keen eye will inevitably see other key features not described here). As such, readers are encouraged to add to the text provided here. This is intended to be a book that is used in the field, not left on the coffee table, so don’t be shy of scribbling your own notes on it to help you learn! Birds of prey have at least two plumage phases: a juvenile phase and an adult phase. Some also have a distinct immature plumage phase and, in long-lived species such as eagles, the plumage progressively changes with each moult. Where plumages differ significantly between juveniles, immatures and adults, these are depicted in the species profile plates (denoted by ‘juv’, ‘imm’). Some species also have a variety of colour morphs. Where these are significantly different we have also included select

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images to illustrate this. However, because in most cases species are most readily identified from their relative size, shape, behaviour and to a lesser extent patterning (and not colour), we have not included an extensive set of images of all colour morphs. The moult pattern (i.e. where birds are in the process of replacing feathers) can make identification even more challenging at certain times of the year. Because of the large number of variations in shape that moult can create, we have not attempted to include images of birds in moult. However, observers should always keep in mind that a bird’s shape can change significantly when it is moulting, so be extra vigilant when observing a bird that is missing feathers in its wings or tail. This book is designed to complement Birds of Prey of Australia: A Field Guide (Debus 2012, CSIRO Publishing). As such, it is does not provide detailed information on species biology or detailed plumage or general identification points for perched birds, but only information on how to identify Australia’s birds of prey when they are in flight and when they are most difficult to identify: at a distance. This book covers only species that regularly occur on continental Australia and hence does not include the vagrants that are sometimes observed on Australian external territories. Details on these species can be found in, for example, The Australian Bird Guide (Menkhorst et al. 2017, CSIRO Publishing). For a more detailed information on Australia’s eagles and endemic hawks, we suggest referring to Australasian Eagles and Eagle-like Birds (Debus 2017, CSIRO Publishing).

Introduction

How to use this book This book has three main components: Quick reference plate (follows title page): shows all of the birds of prey covered in this book, with the page number of the species profile section for each species. Species profiles: these make up the bulk of this book, with a 4-page entry for each bird of prey. Each account starts with colour images overlaid on one of the habitat types in which they can be expected to occur. This introductory plate provides a broad overview and illustrates each species at differing distances and the effect that different backgrounds and lighting can have on plumage features. Each species is then depicted in colour against a blank background from six standardised angles in order to illustrate the shape, proportions, plumage pattern and colour of the key features, allowing identification in most circumstances. These images are supplemented with text highlighting the specific features to look for and behavioural traits that are commonly used in identifying each species when in flight. Distribution maps have dark shaded areas to show the broad geographic range of each species, which can

help reduce options to the most regularly recorded species in a particular region. Some maps also include areas with a lighter shade to indicate where sightings are still possible, but less likely. The reader should familiarise themselves with these plates and the associated text and maps before heading out into the field. Species comparisons: This section shows multiple (possible confusion) species alongside each other, to enable easy crossreferencing of their key features. Because colour is often hard to distinguish when birds are seen at a distance, these images are reproduced in black and white to focus the reader on the finer points of identification: the relative proportions and shape of each species in comparison with others. Key features that distinguish the species from each other are annotated.

Topography Birds have a range of types and groups of feathers growing from different parts of their body. These vary in size, pattern and colour and are useful features to help distinguish between similar birds. Many of these feather groups (and other external features) are labelled on the plate that follows on the next page.

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fingers

wing panel

trailing edge

leading edge

underwing coverts breast/chest crown

undertail coverts

collar

carpal patch

outer wing

carpal bar rectrices (tail)

nape eye-stripe

uppertail coverts rump

throat

secondaries

shoulder wrist/alula

primaries 4

Species profiles

5

Osprey

Pandion haliaetus

6

8

Osprey Pandion haliaetus Overview: Large, bicoloured, big-footed aquatic hawk that flies buoyantly with slow, gentle, somewhat stiff wing beats; soars and glides on long, angular, M-shaped bowed wings; hovers; dramatically plunges headfirst into water with feet thrown forwards; submerges (rather than snatching fish off the surface). Gives a distinctive ‘shiver’ to shed water when resuming flight after emerging from water. Confusion species: Easily confused with immature White-bellied Sea-Eagle, and potentially confused with juvenile Brahminy Kite, pale-bellied Whistling Kites. Key identification points ●● Primary distinguishing features: Distinctive bowed M-shaped wing in profile when gliding. Stiff wing beats. Hovers. Appears somewhat long necked and short tailed in flight. ●● Size: 56–66 cm body, 149–168 cm wingspan. Larger and more heavily built than Brahminy Kite and Whistling Kite, approaching White-bellied Sea-Eagle in size though more slender and narrow winged. ●● Shape: Distinctive M-shaped wing in profile when gliding. Angular, slightly to moderately fingered wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; somewhat curved trailing edge to wing, approximately parallel to leading edge when wings flexed; primaries fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a long, moderately pointed wing-tip when partly closed; tail square when furled, but rounded when fanned. ●● Proportions: Wrists are set well back from the front of the head when soaring,

●●

●●

but level with the head when fully flexed in a fast glide. Tail length somewhat less than body (including head), making it look long necked and short tailed in flight. Head (including bill) rather long and prominent; flat crown; deep bill. Plumage: Overall white head and underbody and brown dorsal surface; pale underside, dark upperparts evident when circling at a distance; dark eye-stripe and mottled breast-band (if present) not obvious at a distance; barred underwings and tail, and dark carpal patch on underwing, evident at closer range. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the eye-stripe, breast-band (if present) and large grey feet and talons are very prominent.

Identifying age and sex: When seen together, the female is slightly larger than the male, and in adult plumage the male has little to no mottled breast-band. Adults have plain upperparts and (at close range) pale yellow to orange-yellow eyes that are very prominent and somewhat glaring; juveniles are overall rustier with more streaked crown and nape, cream-spotted upperparts (lost with wear), broader and heavier breast-band, and (at close range) have orange-yellow to orange eyes.

9

Black-shouldered Kite

Elanus axillaris

10

12

Black-shouldered Kite Elanus axillaris Overview: Small, lithe, delicate, mostly white hawk that flies with winnowing beats, soars/ glides on raised tern-like V-shaped wings; hovers in semi-upright posture with tail depressed and legs lowered; drops feet-first with wings raised high. Black carpal spot on underwing not obvious at a distance. Diurnal. Confusion species: Easily confused with Letter-winged Kite. Also potentially confused with Nankeen Kestrel, Grey Falcon. Key identification points ●● Primary distinguishing features: Sharp winged; white bodied; wings held in strong V-shape when gliding. Hovers with body hanging down. Primarily differs from the very similar Letter-winged Kite (which is normally restricted to arid environs) in being diurnal, and by having a small black carpal spot on the underwing (as opposed to a thick black line). ●● Size: 33–37 cm body, 82–94 cm wingspan. Similar in size to Nankeen Kestrel but more robust, broader winged and shorter tailed; smaller than Grey Falcon. ●● Shape: Pointed, raised V-shaped wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; wing-tips gently pointed and not fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a long point when partly closed; tail square to slightly notched when furled, but rounded when fanned. ●● Proportions: Wrists are set well back from the front of the head when soaring, but

●●

●●

almost level with the head when fully flexed in a fast glide. Tail length less than body (including head), making it look somewhat short tailed in flight. Head rather short and broad, slightly domed; bill small and not prominent. Plumage: Overall white with grey wings and black ‘shoulders’ (inner forewings); pale body and raised wings evident when circling at a distance; black carpal spot and dark primaries on underwings and white unmarked tail only obvious at closer range. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the red eyes, black eyebrow and yellow feet are conspicuous.

Identifying age and sex: The male and female are similar, only distinguishable by behaviour, such as courtship, copulation and food provision by the male, when seen together and interacting. Juveniles are washed or streaked rusty on the foreparts, the dorsal feathers are fringed white, and (at close range) the eyes are brown.

13

Letter-winged Kite

Elanus scriptus

14

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Letter-winged Kite Elanus scriptus Overview: Small, delicate, mostly white hawk that flies with slow gull-like or ternlike beats; hovers; soars/glides on raised V-shaped wings; mostly nocturnal so unlikely to be seen flying by day unless out of normal arid-zone range (during drought), or disturbed at roost or breeding site. Confusion species: Easily confused with Black-shouldered Kite, and potentially confused with Barn Owl when flying at night. Key identification points ●● Primary distinguishing features: Thick black line on underwings from body to carpal, obvious at a distance, distinguishes from Black-shouldered Kite. Nocturnal behaviour also distinguishes, but can be seen flying during daylight hours if disturbed from roosting. ●● Size: 34–37 cm body, 84–89 cm wingspan: same size as Black-shouldered Kite. ●● Shape: Pointed, raised V-shaped wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; wing-tips gently pointed and not fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a long point when partly closed; tail square to slightly notched when furled, but rounded when fanned. ●● Proportions: Wrists are set well back from the front of the head when soaring, but almost level with the head when fully flexed in a fast glide. Tail length less than body (including head), making it look

●●

●●

somewhat short tailed in flight. Head rather short and broad, slightly domed; bill small and not prominent. Plumage: Overall white with grey wings and black ‘shoulders’ (inner forewings); thick black line on underwings from body to carpal obvious at a distance; pale body and raised wings evident when circling at a distance; pale primaries on underwings and white unmarked tail only evident at closer range. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the large red eyes, full black circles around the eyes (owl-like face), translucent secondaries and cream feet are evident.

Identifying age and sex: The male and female are similar, though females have a greyer crown; otherwise distinguishable by behaviour when seen together and interacting. Juveniles are washed brown on the foreparts, the scapulars are tipped white, and (at close range) the eyes are brown.

17

Square-tailed Kite

Lophoictinia isura

18

juv

juv

20

Square-tailed Kite Lophoictinia isura Overview: Medium-sized, slender, very longwinged hawk that glides and soars gracefully and leisurely, often low over treetops, on raised shallow V-shaped wings with widely splayed primaries, and tail tilting, twisting and fanning; seldom flaps wings, constantly adjusts wing position when soaring, appearing buoyant and agile on the wing, sometimes with sideways rocking motion. Commonly displays sideslipping flight, swoops and abrupt changes in direction, especially when close to tree canopy. Confusion species: Easily confused with Black Kite, harriers and Red Goshawk, and potentially confused with Little Eagle, Blackbreasted Buzzard and (at a distance) Wedgetailed Eagle. Key identification points ●● Primary distinguishing features: Slender body, long fingered wings raised in shallow V. Outerwings broadest. Square to slightly rounded tail. Wrists are set only slightly back from front of head when gliding. Banding across primaries and broad dark terminal band on tail obvious at close range. ●● Size: 50–56 cm body, 131–145 cm wingspan: Similar in size to other large kites (Black, Whistling) and harriers but longer winged; longer winged and more slender bodied than Little Eagle. ●● Shape: Raised, long and deeply fingered shallow V-shaped wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; outerwings (primary section) broadest; primaries deeply fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a long, fingered wing-tip when partly closed; tail notched to square when furled, but square or slightly rounded when fanned.

●●

●●

●●

Proportions: Wrists are set back a little from the front of the head when soaring, but level with the head when fully flexed in a fast glide. Tail length equal to body (including head), making it look slender in flight. Head rather small and not prominent; slightly domed; fine bill. Plumage: Overall red-brown ventrally and brown dorsally; white face and cap (adults); pale bases to primaries and banding on primary fingers evident when circling at a distance; heavy breast streaking not obvious at a distance; pale carpal bar on upperwings, black carpal crescent on underwings and broad dark terminal band on tail evident at closer range. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the pale eyes, slender bill and tiny pale feet are evident.

Identifying age and sex: When seen together, the female is slightly larger than the male. Adults have a white face and cap and strongly barred primary fingers from below, and (at close range) have pale yellow eyes; juveniles are overall redder and have a rufous head and face, finer streaking, less barred primary fingers from below, and (at close range) have brown eyes.

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Black-breasted Buzzard

Hamirostra melanosternon

22

juv

24

Black-breasted Buzzard Hamirostra melanosternon Overview: Large, long/square-winged, shorttailed hawk with prominent white panel in outerwings that is visible from a distance. Soars/glides rather rapidly in wide-ranging paths across the sky on V-shaped raised and often backswept wings, rocking from side to side; constantly adjusts wing position when soaring, appearing buoyant on the wing. Confusion species: Easily confused with dark Little Eagle and juvenile White-bellied Sea-Eagle, and potentially confused with juvenile Brahminy Kite and adult Wedgetailed Eagle; juvenile/immature potentially confused with Square-tailed Kite. Key identification points ●● Primary distinguishing features: Short stubby tail. Large, square, fingered wings. Prominent white panel in outerwing. Wings held in strong V-shape. ●● Size: 51–61 cm body, 147–156 cm wingspan. Larger, bulkier and shorter tailed than Little Eagle, large kites (Black, Whistling) and harriers. Almost stumpy tailed in comparison with these species. ●● Shape: Long, broad, fingered wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; rather straight trailing edge to wing, trailing edge roughly parallel with leading edge in soar giving a square-shaped appearance to wings; primaries fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a long, slightly fingered wing-tip when partly closed; tail square when furled, but rounded when fanned. ●● Proportions: Wrists are set well back from the front of the head when soaring,

●●

●●

but almost level with the head when fully flexed in a fast glide. Tail length about one-third of body (including head). Combined, the short stubby tail and deep chest make it look front heavy in flight. Head rather prominent; somewhat flat crown; rather long and prominent, though slender, bill. Plumage: Overall black, browner on wings, with prominent white bases to primaries (dorsal and ventral surfaces); pale, unmarked tail evident when circling at a distance; rusty nape and thighs, mottled inner forewings not obvious at a distance; unbarred underwings and tail evident at closer range. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the bare legs and pale feet are evident.

Identifying age and sex: When seen together, the female is slightly larger than the male. Adults are black on foreparts; juveniles are overall redder, and have a rufous head and underparts and faint barring in the secondaries from below; immatures are sandier and develop black streaking on the breast. Eyes brown in all ages.

25

Pacific Baza Aviceda subcristata

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Pacific Baza Aviceda subcristata Overview: Small–medium, sometimes gregarious, colourful (though mostly grey), broad-winged hawk that glides and soars gracefully and buoyantly on flat to bowed wings. Raises wings during noisy undulating display flight; often drops into foliage to snatch prey. Calls regularly, noisy. Confusion species: When soaring at a distance, easily confused with Whistling Kite and Grey Goshawk, and potentially confused with Little Eagle, Brown Goshawk and Collared Sparrowhawk. Key identification points Primary distinguishing features: Deep, rounded, paddle shaped wings that ‘pinch’ in at the body. Tiny body when compared with wings. Thick black terminal band on tail and trailing edge of wing. ●● Size: 35–46 cm body, 80–105 cm wingspan. Smaller than large kites (Black, Whistling); similar in body size to Brown Goshawk but much larger winged. ●● Shape: Curvaceous fingered wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; strongly S-shaped trailing edge to wing; outerwings broadest; primaries widely splayed when fully spread, but tapered to a long, fingered wing-tip when partly closed; tail square when furled, but rounded when fanned. When viewed from below wings are paddle-shaped, being distinctly ‘pinched’ in at the body. ●● Proportions: Wrists are set a little back from the front of the head when soaring, but level with the head when fully flexed ●●

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in a fast glide. Tail length equal to body (including head), making it look slender in flight. Head rather small and not prominent (pigeon-like), slightly domed, often carried above the plane of the body in flight; small bill. Plumage: Overall grey dorsally, paler ventrally; banding on primary fingers evident when circling at a distance; bold barring on belly, rusty underwings and undertail coverts and broad dark terminal band on tail only obvious at closer range. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the bulging yellow eyes and tiny grey feet are evident.

Identifying age and sex: When seen together, the female is slightly browner dorsally than the male, and may have more barring in the secondaries. Adults are mostly grey with bold belly barring and prominent staring yellow eyes; juveniles are much browner dorsally, with rusty breast and finer belly barring, and (at close range) have a patterned face, pale eyes and bolder banding in the secondaries and tail.

29

Black Kite Milvus migrans

30

32

Black Kite Milvus migrans Overview: Medium-sized, dark, often gregarious hawk with forked tail, which soars/ glides effortlessly on flat to slightly bowed wings (though wings can be momentarily raised when gaining height or buffeted by wind), in ‘hunched’ head-down posture with carpals held forwards, with the tail tilting, twisting and fanning; constantly adjusts wings and tail when soaring, appearing buoyant and manoeuvrable on the wing. Confusion species: Easily confused with Square-tailed Kite, and potentially confused with Whistling Kite and dark Little Eagle. Key identification points Primary distinguishing features: Strongly fork-shaped tail that is constantly tilting and twisting. Long slender wings. Soars on flat to slightly bowed wings. Somewhat uniform dark plumage. ●● Size: 47–55 cm body, 120–139 cm wingspan. Similar in size to Whistling Kite (though more slender) and harriers; longer and more slender than Little Eagle. ●● Shape: Curvaceous, fingered wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; slightly S-shaped trailing edge to wing; primaries fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a long, slightly fingered to somewhat pointed wing-tip when partly closed; tail very obviously forked when furled, but square when fanned. ●● Proportions: Wrists are set a little back from the front of the head when soaring,

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but level with the head when fully flexed in a fast glide. Tail length about equal to body (including head), making it look streamlined in flight. Head rather small and not prominent; flat crown; small bill. Plumage: Overall dark brown; pale carpal bar on upperwings and forked tail evident when circling at a distance; ventral streaking and barring in flight and tail feathers not obvious at a distance; pale face, dark eyebrow and ear patch and black primary fingers evident at closer range. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the yellow cere and small yellow feet are evident.

Identifying age and sex: The male and female are similar, only distinguishable by behaviour when seen together and interacting; old females may have whiter face and redder underparts than male. Juveniles are paler and more streaked/mottled than adults, and have a bolder underwing pattern (pale bases to primaries); (at close range) juveniles have a duller cere and paler feet.

33

Whistling Kite

Haliastur sphenurus

34

36

Whistling Kite Haliastur sphenurus Overview: Medium-sized sandy (‘scruffy’) hawk, often vocal and sometimes gregarious, that soars/glides buoyantly on bowed wings with carpals held forwards. Habit of constantly readjusting wings while in soaring flight. Obvious pale windows in wings bordered by distinctive black panels of secondaries and outer primaries. Confusion species: Easily confused with Little Eagle and juvenile Brahminy Kite, and potentially confused with Black Kite and Square-tailed Kite. Key identification points ●● Primary distinguishing features: Rounded tail. Readjusts wings almost constantly while soaring. Pale colouration of body and window in wing combined creates M-shaped pattern from below (not as extensive as in Little Eagle). ●● Size: 51–59 cm body, 123–146 cm wingspan. Similar in size to Black Kite, though bulkier and broader winged, and harriers; longer and more slender than Little Eagle. ●● Shape: Curvaceous, fingered wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; S-shaped trailing edge to wing; primaries fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a long, fingered wing-tip when partly closed; tail rounded when furled and fanned. ●● Proportions: Wrists are set a little back from the front of the head when soaring, but level with the head when fully flexed

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●●

in a fast glide. Tail length about equal to body (including head), making it look streamlined in flight. Head rather small and not prominent; flat crown; small bill. Plumage: Overall sandy brown; pale dorsal surface and pale tail, contrasting with dark flight feathers, evident when circling at a distance; distinctive underwing pattern (pale inner primaries and otherwise dark flight feathers, including black primary fingers), and absent or faint barring in secondaries and tail, only evident at closer range. In very worn and faded plumage, especially in northern Australia, the tail can appear to be whitish. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the dull cere and small cream feet are evident.

Identifying age and sex: When seen together, the female is slightly larger than the male; also distinguishable by behaviour when interacting. Juveniles have pale dorsal spotting.

37

Brahminy Kite

Haliastur indus

38

imm imm

juv

juv

40

Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus Overview: Medium-sized, chestnut and white hawk (adult) or mostly brown hawk (juvenile) that soars/glides on flat to slightly raised broad-rounded wings with carpals held forwards. Confusion species: Juvenile easily confused with Little Eagle and Whistling Kite, and potentially confused with Osprey and Blackbreasted Buzzard. Key identification points ●● Primary distinguishing features: Broad, relatively short, rounded wings. Short rounded tail. Barrel chested. Adult striking chestnut and white plumage. Flat to slightly raised wings while soaring. ●● Size: 45–51 cm body, 109–124 cm wingspan. Similar in size to Whistling Kite (though more compact and shorter tailed); similar in size and proportions to Little Eagle. ●● Shape: Curvaceous, fingered wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; S-shaped trailing edge to wing; primaries fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a long, fingered wing-tip when partly closed; tail rounded when furled and fanned. ●● Proportions: Wrists are set a little back from the front of the head when soaring, but level with the head when fully flexed in a fast glide. Tail length somewhat less than body (including head), making it

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appear stocky. Head rather small and not prominent; flat crown; small bill. Plumage: Adult distinctive chestnut and white plumage. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the dull cere and small cream feet are evident.

Identifying age and sex: When seen together, the female is slightly larger than the male; also distinguishable by behaviour when interacting. Juveniles very different from adult: essentially brown; lack of pale carpal bar on upperwing evident when circling at a distance; underwing pattern (pale inner primaries, diffuse pale oblique band, black primary fingers with pale bases), dark ear patch, streaked breast, distinctly pale belly and dark-ended undertail only obvious at closer range; head and underparts fade with wear. Immatures have a potentially confusing patchwork of faded juvenile plumage and ‘dirty’ adult plumage (a sort of ‘camouflage’ pattern).

41

White-bellied Sea-Eagle

Haliaeetus leucogaster

42

imm juv

44

White-bellied Sea-Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster Overview: Very large, unmistakable grey and white eagle (adult) or mostly brown eagle (juvenile) that soars/glides on distinctly raised V-shaped wings. Confusion species: Juvenile easily confused with juvenile/immature Wedge-tailed Eagle, and potentially confused with Black-breasted Buzzard; immature easily confused with smaller Osprey. Key identification points ●● Primary distinguishing features: Massive. Soars on exaggerated V-shaped wings. Highly fingered, curvaceous, broad wings. Tail relatively stubby compared with Wedge-tailed Eagle. Adult brilliant white on head and underbody. ●● Size: 75–85 cm body, 180–218 cm wingspan. Similar in size to Wedge-tailed Eagle (though more compact, broader winged and shorter tailed); larger and deeper chested than Osprey. ●● Shape: Curvaceous, fingered wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; S-shaped trailing edge to wing; primaries noticeably fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a moderately long, fingered wing-tip when partly closed; tail broad and wedge shaped when furled, but rounded when fanned. ●● Proportions: Wrists are set back from the front of the head when soaring, but level with the head when fully flexed in a fast glide. Tail length about one-third of body

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(including head), making it look stubby in flight. Head rather long and prominent; flat crown; large bill. Plumage: Unmistakable grey and white eagle. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the grey bill, dark eyes and bare legs and large feet are evident.

Identifying age and sex: When seen together, the female is larger than the male; also distinguishable by behaviour and voice (female deeper and slower) when interacting. Juveniles very different from adult: essentially brown with pale tail at distance; underwing pattern (pale bases to primaries), lack of barring in secondaries, paler head and unmarked white tail with brown tip only obvious at closer range; head fades with wear. Immatures are a pale version of the juvenile, retaining a mottled breast-band (like Osprey) but acquiring an adult-like tail (white with dark grey base) and gradually attaining adult-like appearance.

45

Brown Goshawk

Accipiter fasciatus

46

juv

48

Brown Goshawk Accipiter fasciatus Overview: Medium-sized, slate-grey or brown, broad-winged and quick-flying hawk that glides and soars on flat to slightly bowed wings, though raises wings slightly when soaring to gain height. Confusion species: Easily confused with Collared Sparrowhawk, and grey-backed adults potentially confused with Grey Goshawk and Grey Falcon; juvenile potentially confused with Brown Falcon. Key identification points ●● Primary distinguishing features: Broadwinged. Blunt wing-tips. Noticeably long tail. Soars on flattish wings. Head protrudes well forward of wings. ●● Size: 40–55 cm body, 74–96 cm wingspan. Similar in size to Brown Falcon, but shorter, more blunt wings. ●● Shape: Somewhat curved, slightly fingered wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; slightly S-shaped (female) to almost straight (male) trailing edge to wing; primaries somewhat fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a rather short, moderately pointed wing-tip when partly closed; tail rounded when furled and fanned. ●● Proportions: Head protrudes in front of wrists when soaring, but wrists can be held almost level with the head when fully flexed in a fast glide. Tail length equal to body (including head), making it look

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streamlined in flight. Head rather small with flat crown. Plumage: Slate grey to grey-brown or brown dorsally, paler and barred ventrally; broad rounded wings and tapered tail obvious at a distance; ventral and underwing/undertail barring only obvious at closer range. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the yellow eyes, beetle-brow, rusty collar (adults) and long yellow legs are evident.

Identifying age and sex: The female is larger and slightly browner than the male, with heavier legs and feet. Adults are slate-grey dorsally with a rusty collar, pale ventrally with fine rufous barring, and have yellow eyes. Juveniles are brown dorsally, white ventrally, with heavy dark streaks on breast and coarse wavy barring on belly; at close range, the eyes are brown (fledglings) to pale yellow. Immatures (second year) are browner versions of the adult, and lack the rusty collar.

49

Collared Sparrowhawk

Accipiter cirrocephalus

50

juv juv

juv

juv

52

Collared Sparrowhawk Accipiter cirrocephalus Overview: Small, lightly built slate-grey or brown, broad-winged and quick-flying hawk that glides and soars on flat to slightly bowed wings, though raises wings slightly when soaring to gain height. Confusion species: Easily confused with Brown Goshawk, and grey-backed adults potentially confused with Grey Falcon. Key identification points ●● Primary distinguishing features: Notched tail when closed. Diminutive. Broad-winged with noticeably long tail. ●● Size: 29–38 cm body, 55–78 cm wingspan. Male similar in size to Australian Hobby and Nankeen Kestrel, but wings shorter and broader; female similar in size to male Brown Goshawk. ●● Shape: Curvaceous, slightly fingered wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; strongly S-shaped trailing edge to wing; primaries somewhat fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a rather short, moderately pointed wing-tip when partly closed; tail square to notched when furled, but square or rounded when fanned. ●● Proportions: Wrists are slightly set back from the front of the head when soaring, but almost level with the head when fully flexed in a fast glide. Tail length equal to body (including head), though broad wings make it look somewhat compact in flight. Head small and slightly domed, not prominent (appears short headed); small bill. ●● Plumage: Slate grey to brown dorsally, paler and barred ventrally; broad rounded

●●

wings and square tail obvious at a distance; ventral and bold underwing/undertail barring only obvious at closer range. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the yellow ‘staring’ eyes, rusty collar (adults), long yellow legs and very long middle toe (similar in length to the tarsus) are evident.

Identifying age and sex: The female is larger and more heavily built than the male. Adults are slate-grey dorsally with a rusty collar, pale ventrally with fine rufous barring, and have yellow eyes. Juveniles are brown dorsally, white ventrally, with heavy dark streaks on breast and coarse wavy barring on belly; at close range, the eyes are brown (fledglings) to pale yellow. Cautionary note: The Chinese Sparrowhawk Accipiter soloensis has recently been observed on islands off the Kimberley coast (northern WA), and could conceivably occur on the Australian mainland as a rare migrant (see comments under Oriental Honey-Buzzard and Eurasian Hobby). Identification details are provided in The Australian Bird Guide.

53

Grey Goshawk

Accipiter novaehollandiae

54

56

Grey Goshawk Accipiter novaehollandiae Overview: Medium-sized, pale or white, broad, round-winged hawk that glides and soars on flat to bowed wings, though raises wings slightly when soaring to gain height. Wing-tips reach noticeably forwards to form a shallow Y when soaring when viewed from below. Confusion species: Grey morph easily confused with Grey Falcon, and potentially confused with grey-backed adult Brown Goshawk; also potentially confused with Little Eagle and Pacific Baza when soaring at a distance. White morph easily overlooked among other white birds (e.g. cockatoos, Cattle Egrets). Key identification points ●● Primary distinguishing features: Deepwinged, medium-sized hawk with extremely rounded wing-tips. While soaring, wings appear held forwards to almost level with front of head, forming a shallow Y. Compact body. ●● Size: 38–55 cm body, 71–110 cm wingspan. Similar in size to Brown Goshawk, but more robust and compact, with deeper, far more rounded wings. ●● Shape: Curvaceous, slightly fingered wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; strongly S-shaped trailing edge to wing; primaries somewhat fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a short, blunt wingtip when partly closed; tail square when furled, but rounded when fanned. ●● Proportions: Wrists are slightly set back from the front of the head when soaring, but almost level with the head when fully

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flexed in a fast glide. Tail length almost equal to body (including head), making it look stocky in flight. Head rather small and not prominent; moderately large bill (female). Plumage: Grey morph is grey dorsally, almost white ventrally; very broad rounded wings and often widely fanned tail obvious at a distance; fine ventral barring and faint underwing/undertail barring only obvious at closer range. White morph is all white with bright orangeyellow cere and feet. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the bright orange-yellow cere, red eyes and long orange-yellow legs are evident.

Identifying age and sex: The female is larger than the male, with heavier legs and feet. Adult grey morph is light grey dorsally, white ventrally with fine grey breast barring and red eyes. Juvenile is slightly darker, with brown tinge, especially on collar, and coarse wavy barring on breast; at close range, the eyes are brown (fledglings) to orange. Tropical juveniles are variable, some being browner and more heavily marked.

57

Red Goshawk

Erythrotriorchis radiatus

58

60

Red Goshawk Erythrotriorchis radiatus Overview: Medium-sized, powerful, big yellow-footed hawk that is impressively agile and swift-moving among trees, but will also fly more leisurely or soar/glide on slightly raised wings above the canopy. Lacks the constant adjustment of wings when soaring when compared with kites. Confusion species: Easily confused with Square-tailed Kite, female Swamp Harrier, larger rufous Brown Falcons, and potentially confused with juvenile Spotted Harrier, dark Little Eagle. Key identification points Primary distinguishing features: Elongate, oblong wing-shape with strong bulge to trailing edge is distinctive when compared with other similar-sized raptors. Wrists are set well back from the front of the head when soaring. ●● Size: 46–61 cm body, 111–136 cm wingspan. Male similar in size to Little Eagle and female Brown Falcon; female similar in size to large kites (Black, Whistling) and harriers. ●● Shape: Curvaceous, slightly to moderately fingered wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; strongly S-shaped trailing edge to wing; primaries fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a moderately long, pointed wing-tip when partly closed; tail square when furled, but rounded when fanned. ●● Proportions: Wrists are set well back from the front of the head when soaring, but almost level with the head when fully flexed in a fast glide. Tail length about equal to body (including head), making it

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look streamlined in flight. Head rather small and not prominent; flat crown; female has rather deep bill relative to size of head. Plumage: Overall red-brown; pale undersides of flight and tail feathers evident when circling at a distance; ventral streaking and dorsal mottling/barring, strongly barred underwings and barred tail (including strong subterminal band) only obvious at closer range. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the extremely large yellow feet are very prominent.

Identifying age and sex: When seen together, the female is noticeably larger and more heavily built than the male, and in adult plumage has a paler belly. At close range, some adult males have browner eyes than females (male has brown to yellow eyes, female golden to pale yellow). Adults have a grey face and strongly barred primary fingers from below; juveniles are much redder all over and have a fully rufous head and face, less barred primary fingers from below, and (at close range) have brown eyes, paler legs and feet (pale grey to pale yellow).

61

Spotted Harrier

Circus assimilis

62

juv

64

Spotted Harrier Circus assimilis Overview: Medium-sized, slender, long-legged hawk that flies low, languidly and buoyantly, and soars/glides on raised V-shaped wings; legs may be dangled in flight. Wings elongate and oblong, tipped with strongly fingered black primaries. Also somewhat ‘lanky’ when compared with Swamp Harrier. Confusion species: Juvenile/immature easily confused with Swamp Harrier, and potentially confused with Square-tailed Kite, Red Goshawk. ●●

Key identification points ●● Primary distinguishing features: Elongate, oblong, strongly fingered wings held in a V-shape. Buoyant, rocking flight often close to the ground. Obvious black wing-tips, strongly barred tail. More lightly built than Swamp Harrier. ●● Size: 50–61 cm body, 121–147 cm wingspan. Similar in size to large kites (Black, Whistling); longer and more slender than Little Eagle. ●● Shape: Somewhat curved, fingered wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; slightly S-shaped trailing edge to wing; primaries fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a long, fingered wing-tip when partly closed; tail wedge-shaped when furled, but strongly rounded when fanned, and dished when viewed from behind (outer edges curved up in a dihedral). ●● Proportions: Wrists are set back from the front of the head when soaring, but almost level with the head when fully flexed in a fast glide. Tail length about equal to body (including head), making it

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look streamlined in flight. Head short and broad, rather owl-like. Plumage: In all plumages, black primary fingers and wedge-shaped tail tip evident when circling at a distance. Adult bluegrey dorsally, rufous spotted white ventrally, but dorsal mottling/barring, thick tail barring and ventral spotting only obvious at closer range. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the owlish facial ruff and long yellow legs are evident.

Identifying age and sex: When seen together, the female is larger than the male; also distinguishable by behaviour when interacting. Adults are blue-grey dorsally and rufous ventrally, with yellow eyes. Juveniles are brown dorsally, with ginger inner forewings, head and underparts and fine ventral streaking, and (at close range) have brown eyes. First immatures (second year) are browner than adults, with mottled upperwings, pale (mottled) rump and heavy ventral streaking; in moult may have a hooded appearance. Second immatures (third year) resemble adults but have white ventral streaks rather than spots.

65

Swamp Harrier Circus approximans

66

juv

juv

juv

68

juv

Swamp Harrier Circus approximans Overview: Medium-sized, slender, long-legged hawk that flies low, slowly and buoyantly, typically around wetlands, and soars/glides on raised wings, slightly rocking or tilting from side to side; legs may dangle in flight. Very obvious white rump, even from a distance, differentiates it from Spotted Harrier, as does its slightly more bulky build. Confusion species: Easily confused with juvenile/immature Spotted Harrier and Red Goshawk, and potentially confused with Square-tailed Kite. Juvenile can be mistaken for Black Falcon or confused with dark Little Eagle. Key identification points Primary distinguishing features: Elongate, oblong, fingered wings held in a shallow V-shape. Buoyant, rocking flight often close to the ground or water. Obvious white rump. Larger and more bulky than Spotted Harrier with less noticeably fingered wing-tips. ●● Size: 50–61 cm body, 121–142 cm wingspan. Similar in size to large kites (Black, Whistling); longer and more slender than Little Eagle. ●● Shape: Somewhat curved, fingered wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; slightly S-shaped trailing edge to wing; primaries fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a long, fingered wing-tip when partly closed; tail almost square (gently rounded) when furled, but rounded when fanned. ●● Proportions: Wrists are set back from the front of the head when soaring, but almost level with the head when fully

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flexed in a fast glide. Tail length about equal to body (including head), making it look streamlined in flight. Head short and broad, rather owl-like. Plumage: Adult brown dorsally, paler and streaked ventrally; barring on primary fingers and tail not obvious at a distance; white rump evident when flying or circling at a distance; thin barring on primary fingers and tail only evident at closer range. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the owlish facial ruff and long yellow legs are evident.

Identifying age and sex: The female is larger and darker than the male, more streaked ventrally, and has more prominent barring in wings and tail. Adults are grey-brown (male) or brown (female) dorsally, with a white rump, pale underparts with dark streaks, and (at close range) have yellow eyes; old males can have a hooded appearance. Juveniles are darker brown dorsally, redder ventrally, with white streaks restricted to the nape; they have a rusty-tinged rump (not pure white), unbarred flight feathers with pale bases to the primaries, and (at close range) have brown eyes.

69

Wedge-tailed Eagle

Aquila audax

70

72

Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax Overview: Very large, blackish (adult) or mostly brown eagle (juvenile) with distinctly diamond or wedge-shaped tail that soars/ glides majestically on strongly raised V-shaped wings to great heights. Confusion species: Juvenile easily confused with juvenile White-bellied Sea-Eagle, and adult potentially confused with Blackbreasted Buzzard. Key identification points ●● Primary distinguishing features: Obvious diamond/wedge-shaped tail. Massive. Overall dark plumage. Less strongly raised V-shaped wings while soaring than similar-sized White-bellied Sea-Eagle. ●● Size: 85–104 cm body, 186–227 cm wingspan. Similar in size to White-bellied Sea-Eagle (though longer winged and longer tailed); larger and longer tailed than Black-breasted Buzzard. ●● Shape: Slightly curved, fingered wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; somewhat S-shaped (juvenile/immature) or nearly straight (adult) trailing edge to wing; primaries fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a long, fingered wing-tip when partly closed; tail tapered when furled, but wedge-shaped when fanned, and dished when viewed from behind (outer edges curved up in a dihedral). ●● Proportions: Wrists are set back from the front of the head when soaring, but level with the head when fully flexed in a fast glide. Tail length almost half of body

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(including head), making it look streamlined in flight. Head rather long and prominent; flat crown; large bill. Plumage: Adult overall black; pale bases to primaries and outer secondaries on underwing evident at a distance; tawny nape, narrow scalloped bronzy carpal bar on upperwing and brown vent only evident at closer range. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the pale bill and fully feathered legs are evident.

Identifying age and sex: When seen together, the female is larger, browner and slightly longer tailed than the male; also distinguishable by behaviour when interacting. Juveniles are essentially brown with dark tail and more bulging and slightly ‘serrated’ secondaries in flight; broad tawny carpal bar on upperwing evident at distance; tawny or blonde on crown and nape, narrow tawny rump band, barring in secondaries and tail, and pale vent only evident at closer range. Immatures become darker and carpal bar narrows with age, gradually attaining adult plumage.

73

Little Eagle

Hieraaetus morphnoides

74

76

Little Eagle Hieraaetus morphnoides Overview: Medium-sized, brown and white or mostly brown eagle, often vocal, that soars/glides on flat to slightly drooped wings to great heights when typically heard before seen; characteristic ‘kiting’ hunting posture with splayed wings slightly forward, alulae projecting, tail fanned; performs characteristic undulating display flight with calling and, in light morph, flash-pattern caused by pale belly and underwings. Confusion species: Light morph easily confused with Whistling Kite, and potentially confused with Square-tailed Kite; dark morph easily confused with Black Kite, and potentially confused with Black-breasted Buzzard, juvenile Brahminy Kite and juvenile Swamp Harrier. Key identification points ●● Primary distinguishing features: Deep, square, fingered wings with rounded tail when fanned. Bulky, barrel-shaped body. Obvious white ‘window’ in wings that extends across all primaries (far more extensive M-shape than in Whistling Kite even in dark morph). More angular rounded tail than the softer rounded tail of the Whistling Kite. ●● Size: 45–55 cm body, 110–136 cm wingspan. Similar in size to the larger kites (Black, Whistling) and harriers, though shorter tailed and more robust. ●● Shape: Flat, slightly curved, fingered wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; almost straight trailing edge to wing; primaries fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a long, fingered wing-tip when partly closed; tail square when furled, but rounded when fanned. ●● Proportions: Wrists are set back from the front of the head when soaring, but level with the head when fully flexed in a fast glide. Tail length somewhat less than body (including head), making it look

●●

●●

stocky in flight. Head rather short and broad, somewhat prominent; flat crown; female has somewhat robust bill. Plumage: Light morph brown dorsally, with sandy to rusty head, pale carpal bar on upperwing and pale scapulars; almost white ventrally, with crisp underwing pattern (rufous leading edge, white ‘M’, black tips). Dark morph similar dorsally, with tawny head and underparts, different underwing pattern (entirely dark coverts, pale bases to primaries). Underwing pattern, white belly (light morph) and pale carpal bar (both morphs) evident when circling or displaying at a distance; barring in flight feathers and tail (both morphs) only evident at closer range. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the dark crown and face, large feathered legs and robust pale feet are evident.

Identifying age and sex: The female is larger than the male, and at close range has more rusty-tinged and dark-streaked breast (light morph) or heavier breast streaks (dark morph). At close range, adults have heavily black-streaked crown, crest and face, streaked breast, pale (silvery) carpal bar and red-brown to orange-brown eyes. Juveniles (both morphs) have clearer rufous head and underparts with little black on crown/face, finer ventral streaks, duller (fawn) carpal bar and brown eyes; underwing pattern as for the respective adult morph. 77

Nankeen Kestrel Falco cenchroides

78

80

Nankeen Kestrel Falco cenchroides Overview: Small, delicate, rusty and cream falcon that flies with winnowing beats, soars/ glides on flat to slightly drooped wings; hovers in horizontal posture, dives head-first with wings partly closed. Confusion species: Easily confused with Black-shouldered Kite (especially rustytinged, dark-eyed juveniles of the Kite), and (from below) potentially confused with Grey Falcon. Key identification points ●● Primary distinguishing features: Hovers. Tiny. Pointed wing-tips, although not as angular as in Australian Hobby. Longer tail than Hobby, which is fanned far more widely when hovering or soaring. ●● Size: 30–35 cm body, 66–78 cm wingspan. Similar in size to Black-shouldered Kite but more slender, narrow winged and longer tailed; legs smaller and shorter than Brown Falcon. ●● Shape: Pointed, flat wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; wing-tips gently pointed and not fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a long, pointed wing-tip when partly closed; tail rounded when furled and fanned. ●● Proportions: Wrists are set well back from the front of the head when soaring, but almost level with the head when fully flexed in a fast glide. Tail length about

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●●

equal to body (including head), making it look streamlined in flight. Head small, slightly domed; bill small and not prominent. Plumage: Overall rusty dorsally with black wing-tips, and off-white ventrally; pale underbody and flat wings evident when circling at a distance; barring in underwings (and tail where present) and black band on tail only obvious at closer range. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the dark eyes, wispy malar stripe and rusty streaking on breast are evident.

Identifying age and sex: The female is slightly larger than the male and has rufous head and tail; the male has a grey cap and grey unbarred tail (other than black band near tail-tip). At close range, juveniles are more strongly rufous on the dorsal hind parts, the upperparts and tail are more strongly and finely marked/barred, and the breast is more strongly streaked rusty.

81

Brown Falcon

Falco berigora

82

84

Brown Falcon Falco berigora Overview: Medium-sized, highly variable (often ‘scruffy’), vocal and sometimes gregarious falcon that flies with rather slow, heavy beats (for a falcon), soars/glides on raised wings; sometimes hovers heavily, high above ground, or ‘kites’ in strong headwind. Can be noisy. Confusion species: Easily confused with Black Falcon, and potentially confused with Nankeen Kestrel and juvenile Brown Goshawk, and (white-breasted individuals when viewed from below) with Grey Falcon. Key identification points ●● Primary distinguishing features: Heavy-set falcon with pointed but blunt wing-tips. Slow, heavy wing beats (for a falcon). Often soars on modified dihedral. Blocky head; flat crown. ●● Size: 41–51 cm body, 89–109 cm wingspan. Similar in size to Brown Goshawk but with longer, pointed wings; legs larger and longer than Nankeen Kestrel. ●● Shape: Pointed and raised wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; trailing edge of wing somewhat curved; wing-tips gently pointed and not fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a long, pointed wing-tip when partly closed; tail rounded when furled and fanned. ●● Proportions: Wrists are set well back from the front of the head when soaring, but almost level with the head when fully flexed in a fast glide. Tail length about equal to body (including head), blocky tail makes it look less streamlined than other falcons in flight. Head rather large and blocky; flat crown; small bill not prominent.

●●

●●

Plumage: Varies from almost as pale as Nankeen Kestrel but with brown thighs and barred tail, to solid brown like Black Falcon but with pale, strongly barred underwings and undertail; upswept wings, pale (‘shiny’) shafts of outer primaries on upperwing and pale underwings and undertail evident when circling at a distance; barring in underwings and tail and double cheek-mark only obvious at closer range. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the dark eyes, double cheek-mark (malar stripe and ear patch), brown thighs (on white-breasted birds) and long grey legs, with toes reaching beyond undertail coverts, are evident.

Identifying age and sex: When seen together, the female is larger than the male; females are also often browner, or have brown breast-band; older males are often white-breasted. At close range, juveniles are more uniform brown ventrally, with buff collar and vent and variable buff mottling down belly, and rufous-edged dorsal feathers; they lack the sometimes yellow cere and orbital skin of old adults.

85

Australian Hobby Falco longipennis

86

88

Australian Hobby Falco longipennis Overview: Small, fast, slate-grey and rufous falcon that flies with dashing or winnowing beats, soars/glides on flat to slightly drooped wings, chases and stoops with great agility. Confusion species: Easily confused with Peregrine Falcon, and potentially confused with Collared Sparrowhawk and (pale inland birds) Grey Falcon. Key identification points ●● Primary distinguishing features: Sharp, long wings. Very streamlined body. Rapid darting flight. Soars on slightly drooping wings. ●● Size: 30–35 cm body, 66–87 cm wingspan. Similar in size to Nankeen Kestrel but wings slightly longer and tail slightly shorter; smaller and more slender than Peregrine Falcon, with finer bill and feet. ●● Shape: Pointed, flat wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; slightly curved trailing edge to wing; wing-tips pointed and not fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a long, sharply pointed wingtip when partly closed; tail square when furled, but rounded when fanned. ●● Proportions: Wrists are set back from the front of the head when soaring, but almost level with the head when fully flexed in a fast glide. Tail length almost

●●

●●

equal to body (including head), making it look streamlined in flight. Head small, slightly domed; small bill not prominent. Plumage: Overall slate-grey dorsally with black ‘mask’, pale forehead and half-collar, and rufous finely dark-streaked ventrally; slender falcon shape and flat wings evident when circling at a distance; barring in underwings and tail and black mask only obvious at closer range. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the dark eyes, black mask, pale forehead and collar, small bill and feet, and lack of yellow orbital skin are evident.

Identifying age and sex: When seen together, the female is larger than the male. At close range, juveniles are more strongly rufous-tinged, with rufous-edged dorsal feathers giving their back a scalloped appearance.

89

Grey Falcon Falco hypoleucos

90

juv

92

Grey Falcon Falco hypoleucos Overview: Medium-sized, pale falcon that flies with winnowing beats; soars/glides on flat to slightly raised wings; soars expertly; chases and stoops with great agility. Confusion species: Easily confused with Grey Goshawk, and potentially confused with pale Brown Falcon, Black-shouldered Kite and other grey-backed raptors (adult Brown Goshawk/Collared Sparrowhawk, Australian Hobby, Peregrine – especially pale inland individuals of these), and even (from below) Nankeen Kestrel. Key identification points ●● Primary distinguishing features: Long winged. Stocky. Winnowing flight. Less angular wings than Peregrine Falcon. ●● Size: 33–43 cm body, 86–97 cm wingspan. Between Australian Hobby and Brown Falcon in size, similar in shape to Peregrine Falcon but more finely built. ●● Shape: Pointed and flat or slightly upswept wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; trailing edge of wing almost straight; wing-tips pointed and not fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a long, sharply pointed wing-tip when partly closed; tail square when furled, but rounded when fanned. ●● Proportions: Wrists are set well back from the front of the head when soaring, but almost level with the head when fully

●●

●●

flexed in a fast glide. Tail length less than body (including head), making it look stocky in flight. Head rather small; flat crown; robust bill though not prominent. Plumage: Light grey dorsally with long black wing-tips, off-white ventrally; lack of black ‘shoulders’ evident when circling at a distance; bright orange-yellow bare parts (cere, orbital skin, feet), wispy malar stripe; barring in wings and tail only evident at closer range. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the brown eyes, ventral streaking and short legs are evident.

Identifying age and sex: When seen together, the female is larger than the male. At close range, juveniles are darker than adults, with dull cere, orbital skin and feet, more conspicuous malar stripe and coarser ventral streaking, and have dorsal feathers edged pale brown and a variably dark-barred carpal patch on the underwing.

93

Black Falcon

Falco subniger

94

96

Black Falcon Falco subniger Overview: Large, fast, uniformly dark, sleek falcon that flies with winnowing beats; soars/ glides on flat to drooped wings; soars expertly; chases and stoops with great agility. Extremely streamlined in flight, even when compared with other falcons; missile like when diving. Confusion species: Easily confused with Brown Falcon, and potentially confused with Black Kite. Key identification points ●● Primary distinguishing features: Very long-winged. Powerfully built. Small, rounded head. Drooping very pointed wings when gliding or soaring. Streamlined, missile-like body. ●● Size: 45–56 cm body, 97–115 cm wingspan. Similar in size to Brown Falcon but legs shorter, with more pointed, longer wings and a more tapering/finer tail. ●● Shape: Pointed and flat or drooped wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; trailing edge of wing straight; wing-tips pointed and not fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a long, sharply pointed wing-tip when partly closed; tail square when furled, but rounded and ‘stepped’ (outermost feather shorter) when fanned. Like giant Australian Hobby. ●● Proportions: Wrists are set well back from the front of the head when soaring, but almost level with the head when fully

●●

●●

flexed in a fast glide. Tail length about equal to body (including head), making it look extremely streamlined in flight; missile like when diving. Head small and slightly domed; bill robust though not prominent. Plumage: Solid brown with variably pale cheeks and dark malar stripe; two-toned underwing evident when circling at a distance; stepped outer edge to square tail, lack of pale carpal bar, pale chin/ throat and faint narrow bars under wings and tail only obvious at closer range. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the pale chin/throat, faint barring in wings and tail and short legs, with toes not reaching tips of undertail coverts, may be evident.

Identifying age and sex: When seen together, the female is larger than the male. At close range, juveniles are darker than adults, with brown cere and pale blue orbital skin (rather than pale grey of adults), and have rufous-edged dorsal feathers.

97

Peregrine Falcon

Falco peregrinus

98

100

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus Overview: Medium-sized to large, powerful, mostly dark falcon that flies with strong winnowing beats; soars/glides on flat to slightly raised wings; stoops vertically with ‘bullet’ shape and great speed. Confusion species: Easily confused (especially juveniles) with Australian Hobby, and pale-backed adults potentially confused with Grey Falcon, especially in some light conditions. Key identification points ●● Primary distinguishing features: Stocky, robust. Short tail. Straight trailing edge to wing giving it a triangular shape when soaring. Prominent white breast in adult. Strong winnowing flight. Often stoops on prey from a great height. ●● Size: 36–50 cm body, 81–106 cm wingspan. Similar in size to Brown Falcon but tail shorter; larger, broader wings, shorter more robust tail and larger bill and feet than Australian Hobby. ●● Shape: ‘Front-heavy’, deep-chested falcon, with flat wings and rather short tail evident when circling at a distance. Straight trailing edge to wing; wing-tips pointed and not fingered when fully spread, but tapered to a long, sharply pointed wingtip when partly closed; tail square when furled, but rounded when fanned. ●● Proportions: Wrists are set well back from the front of the head when soaring, but almost level with the head when fully flexed in a fast glide. Tail length less than

●●

●●

body (including head), making it look chunky in flight. Head large; flat crown; large and prominent bill. Plumage: Overall slate-grey dorsally with full black ‘helmet’, and pale ventrally (prominent white breast) with fine barring on belly; black helmet and barring in underwings and tail only evident at closer range. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the dark eyes, large bill and feet, and bright yellow bare parts (cere, orbital skin and feet) are evident.

Identifying age and sex: When seen together, the female is larger than the male. At close range, juveniles are darker and browner, with ventral streaks (not bars), and (fledglings) have pale blue cere and orbital skin. Note: Migratory Northern Hemisphere subspecies may occur rarely anywhere in Australia: they have a narrow malar stripe and white hind-cheeks, and are less chunky than the Australian subspecies.

101

Oriental Honey-Buzzard

Pernis ptilorhynchus

102

104

Oriental Honey-Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus Overview: Large, variable and polymorphic, strongly banded, long-winged hawk that glides and soars on flat to slightly raised or slightly arched wings; flight rather heavy and slow. Confusion species: When soaring at a distance, potentially confused with large kites (Square-tailed, Black, Whistling) and Little Eagle. Key identification points ●● Primary distinguishing features: Very deep, long, rounded wings and large rounded tail. Fingered wings when soaring or in glide. Wings pinched in at body (similar to Pacific Baza but body on Baza tiny in comparison). Very obvious barring that extends across whole wing and tail. ●● Size: 54–65 cm body, 128–155 cm wingspan. Slightly larger and more eagle-like in flight than large kites (Black, Whistling) and harriers. ●● Shape: Somewhat curved, fingered wings when viewed from behind or obliquely; S-shaped trailing edge to wing; wings very broad and rounded; primaries widely splayed when fully spread, but tapered to a long, fingered wing-tip when partly closed; tail rounded when furled and fanned. ●● Proportions: Wrists are set well back from the front of the head when soaring, but level with the head when fully flexed in a fast glide. Tail length about equal to body (including head), although broad wings make it look rather compact in flight. Head small and prominent (pigeon-like); flat crown; slender bill. ●● Plumage: Overall brown dorsally, greyer on face and wings; underparts pale to

●●

rufous and streaked, or dark and mottled, streaked or barred; bold barring on primary fingers and two or three broad bands on tail evident when circling at a distance; slightly paler carpal bar on upperwing, barring through flight feathers and white throat with black border (sometimes with stripe on centre of chin) only evident at closer range. Close-up: During close-up overhead views the red or yellow eyes and small feet are evident.

Identifying age and sex: The female is browner (less grey) than the male, and has three (not two) dark bands in the tail; at close range, the male has red eyes, female yellow. Juveniles/immatures are paler on the head and breast and may show a pale rump, and (at close range) have less boldly banded primary fingers, and more and narrower bars in the wings and tail, than adults. Note: A rare but regular migrant to mainland Australia, so far seen in the north and west but could appear anywhere and be overlooked among similar resident species, especially in remote northern areas closest to Indonesia, from where it presumably enters Australia.

105

Eurasian Hobby

Falco subbuteo

106

108

Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo Overview: Small falcon essentially like Australian Hobby in flight and appearance. Somewhat stiffer and more Peregrine Falcon like in flight than Australian Hobby. Confusion species: Potentially confused with Australian Hobby and Peregrine Falcon. Key identification points Primary distinguishing features: Good views of plumage necessary to distinguish from Australian Hobby. Overall, darker than Australian Hobby, with white hindcheeks rather than black. ●● Size: 28–34 cm body, 68–84 cm wingspan. Similar in size to Nankeen Kestrel and Australian Hobby; shape and bodily proportions like the latter. ●● Shape and proportions: Shape, flight and proportions like Australian Hobby (see that account). ●● Plumage: Plumage like Australian Hobby, but has narrow black malar stripe and white hind-cheeks rather than a ‘mask’, and the underparts are cream broadly streaked black, with rufous restricted to the thighs and vent; these differences not obvious when circling at a distance. Darker than Australian Hobby, may look blackish with white throat in some conditions (although note that Australian Hobby can also appear this way in harsh, high-contrast light conditions). ●●

●●

Close-up: At closer range or during closeup overhead views the narrow malar stripe, pale and heavily streaked underside, and bright yellow bare parts (cere, orbital skin, feet) are evident.

Identifying age and sex: When seen together, the female is larger than the male. At close range, juveniles have the pale areas buff rather than cream, lack the rufous thighs and vent, have buff-edged dorsal feathers, and (initially) have blue-grey cere and orbital skin. Note: A rare vagrant to mainland Australia, so far seen in the south-west (where observers are concentrated), but could appear anywhere and be overlooked among Australian Hobbies, especially in remote northern areas closest to Indonesia, from where it presumably enters Australia.

109

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Species comparisons

111

Red Goshawk

flat shape

Square-tailed Kite

shallow V-shape

long strong bulge

wrists level with front of head

protrudes

parallel leading and trailing edge

bulky body

square roundish 112

Brown Falcon

Swamp Harrier

raised modified V-shape

V-shape

pale rump

blocky deep wing

fingered

113

Brown Falcon

Black Falcon

drooping wings

raised modified V-shape

blunt tips

small rounded head

blocky

rounded more streamlined

long winged

large

heavy set 114

Peregrine Falcon

Grey Falcon

slightly upswept

angular

powerful

pointed

straight

stocky

less pointy

rounded

115

Brown Goshawk

Collared Sparrowhawk

flat or bowed

broad

more delicate

juv

head protrudes

head in line with wrists juv

rounded 116

notched tip

juv

Grey Goshawk

Grey Falcon

slightly upswept

wings forward

broad wings Y-shape

rounded tips

117

Brown Goshawk

Brown Falcon

raised modified V-shape

flat shape

deep

blunt tips

more pointed

blocky bulky long 118

Grey Goshawk

Grey Falcon

slightly upswept

rounded tips

stocky

Y-shape

broad wings

119

Whistling Kite

bowed wings M-shape

Black Kite

flat to slightly bowed wings

hunched

S-shape broad bulky slender wings

rounded

120

forked

Swamp Harrier

Spotted Harrier V-shape

less exaggerated V-shape

white rump

less fingered

bulge wedge

long

lanky

bulky strongly fingered bulky

elongate oblong wing

121

Osprey

angular

White-bellied Sea-Eagle

exaggerated V-shape M-shape

bulging

short tailed

slender wings

122

deep stubby

deep chest

Wedge-tailed Eagle

Black-breasted Buzzard

V-shape

straight

long squared wings large diamond

short

123

Brahminy Kite

Little Eagle

flat

flat

short wings

deep

robust juv

short rounded 124

Whistling Kite

bowed

Pacific Baza

slightly bowed

more slender

curvaceous

paddle-shaped wings

long paddle

pinched at body

125

Nankeen Kestrel

Black-shouldered Kite

V-shape

flat

broader wings long

slender shorter tail

pointed

126

more robust

Australian Hobby

Grey Falcon

slightly upswept

flat

sharp narrow stocky

less pointed

pointed

deep wings

angular streamlined

127

Photographic acknowledgements

Photographic credits for the images in the plates in this book are listed in the table below. The order of names for each page refers to images from left to right in rows from top to bottom.

Terence Alexander (1), Scott Baker (2), John Barkla – BirdLife Australia (3), Chris Barnes (4), Plaxy Barratt (5), Paul Brooks (6), Rebecca Citroni (7), Chris Cope (8), Andrew Crouch (9), Keith D. Fisher (10), Charles Dove (11), Philip Dubbin (12), Jesse Gibson (13), Barb Gilfedder (14), Mat Gilfedder (15), Geoffrey Groom (16), Nigel Jackett (17), Micha V. Jackson (18), Russell Jenkins (19), Ross D. Jones (20), Peter Kyne

(21), Judy Leitch (22), Ákos Lumnitzer (23), Daniel Mantle (24), Andrew Martin (25), Niven McCrie (26), Bernie McRitchie (27), Deborah Metters (28), Euan Moore (29), Bill Moorhead (30), Stephen Murray (31), Jon Norling (32), Steve Percival (33), Nathan Piesse (34), Rawshorty (35), Jeremy Ringma (36), Laurie Ross/tracksbirding. com.au (37), Jason Searle (38), Richard Seaton (39), Luke Shelley (40), Jennie Stock (41), Brian L. Sullivan (42), Tom Tarrant (43), Nigel Voaden (44), Delia Walker (45), Richard Waring (46), James Watson (47), David Whelan/wildpix.com.au (48).

Page number

Photographer

Page number

Photographer

iv

7, 15, 24, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 11, 11, 15, 19

19

All 15

20

15, 39, 11, 15, 15, 15

v

38, 10, 11, 19, 15, 15, 43, 15, 17, 15, 25, 41, 16

22

37

23

33, 30, 15, (Background: 15)

24

26, 36, 15, 30, 15, 15

26

All 15

4

15, 32

6

7

7

15, 15, 15, (Background: 15)

8

All 15

27

All 15

10

All 15

28

All 15

11

All 15

30

42

12

19, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15

31

14

40

42, rest 15, (Background: 15)

15

24, 21, (Background: 14)

32

42, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15

34

All 15

16

21, 21, 21, 40, 24, 21

35

All 15

18

All 15

36

15, 15, 15, 32, 15, 15

128

P h o t o g r aphi c a c k n o wle d geme n t s

Page number

Photographer

Page number

Photographer

38

All 15

76

48, 39, 9, 15, 25, 48

39

All 15

78

All 15

40

All 15

79

All 15

42

11

80

All 15

43

15, 15, 15, 18, (Background: 15)

82

32

83

All 15

44

15, 15, 15, 11, 15, 15

84

15, 15, 15, 4, 15, 32

46

All 15

86

48

47

All 15

87

48

15, 15, 15, 15, 11, 15

48, 15, 15, (Background: 15)

50

12

88

48, 15, 48, 15, 15, 15

51

4, 15, 16, (Background: 15)

90

37, 21

91

8, 46, 3, 5

52

48, 6, 45, 4, 12, 4

92

32, 32, 29, 8, 29, 32

54

19

94

42

55

15, 15, (Background: 15)

95

All 15

56

13, 1, 35 11, 19, 11

96

28, 48, 15, 15, 42, 15

58

47

98

16

59

22, 38, 38, 22, (Background: 15)

99

48, 21, 48, (Background: 15)

60

38, 38, 38, 38, 22, 38

100

21, 19, 31, 48, 16, 48

62

10

102

41

63

30, 15, 15, (Background: 15)

103

20, 20, (Background: 24)

64

18, 30, 15, 19, 10, 25

104

20, 16, 2, 41, 16, 41

66

27

106

16

67

15, 15, 18, (Background: 15)

107

34, 34, (Background: 5)

68

15, 15, 32, 32, 11, 15

108

34, 34, 44, 34, 34, 34

70

48

112

38, 39, 38, 15, 38, 11, 22, 15, 38, 15

71

48, 42, (Background: 15)

113

15, 15, 32, 15, 15, 15, 15, 11, 32, 15

72

15, 15, 32, 15, 42, 15

114

74

25

15, 30, 32, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 42, 32, 15

75

39, 48, 39, (Background: 15)

115

19, 14, 21, 21, 31, 29, 48, 8, 19, 29, 48, 29

129

AUS TR ALIAN BIR DS OF PR E Y IN FLIGH T

Page number

Photographer

Page number

Photographer

116

15, 6, 15, 48, 15, 45, 15, 23, 15, 4, 15, 4

122

15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15

117

1, 14, 13, 21, 35 29, 11, 8, 19, 29, 11, 29

123

15, 36, 15, 26, 32, 15, 15, 15, 42, 15, 15, 30

118

15, 15, 15, 32, 15, 15, 15, 19, 15, 15, 15, 32

124

15, 39, 15, 48, 15, 9, 15, 15, 15, 25, 15, 48

119

1, 14, 13, 21, 35 29, 11, 8, 19, 29, 11, 29

125

15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 32, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15

120

15, 15, 15, 42, 15, 15, 32, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15

126

15, 15, 15, 19, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15

121

15, 30, 15, 15, 32, 15, 32, 19, 11, 10, 6, 25

127

15, 32, 48, 21, 48, 29, 15, 8, 15, 29, 15, 29

130

Index

For each entry, the first page number refers to the species profile, any additional page numbers refer to the species comparisons. Accipiter cirrocephalus  50, 116 fasciatus  46, 116, 118 novaehollandiae  54, 117, 119 Aquila audax  70, 123 Aviceda subcristata  26, 125 Baza, Pacific  26, 125 Buzzard, Black-breasted  22, 123 Circus approximans  66, 113, 121 assimilis  62, 121 Eagle, Little  74, 124 Wedge-tailed  70, 123 Elanus axillaris  10, 126 scriptus 14 Erythrotriochis radiatus  58, 112 Falco berigora  82, 113, 114, 118 cenchroides  78, 126 hypoleucos  90, 115, 117, 119, 127 longipennis  86, 127 peregrinus  98, 115 subbuteo  106 subniger  94, 114 Falcon, Black  94, 114 Brown  82, 113, 114, 118 Grey  90, 115, 117, 119, 127 Peregrine  98, 115

Grey  54, 117, 119 Red  58, 112 Haliaeetus leucogaster  42, 122 Haliastur indus  38, 124 sphenurus  34, 120, 125 Hamirostra melanosternon  22, 123 Harrier, Spotted  62, 121 Swamp  66, 113, 121 Hieraaetus morphnoides  74, 124 Hobby, Australian  86, 127 Eurasian 106 Honey-Buzzard, Oriental  102 Kestrel, Nankeen  78, 126 Kite, Black  30, 120 Black-shouldered  10, 126 Brahminy  38, 124 Letter-winged 14 Square-tailed  18, 112 Whistling  34, 120, 125 Lophoictinia isura  18, 112 Milvus migrans  30, 120 Osprey  6, 122 Pandion haliaetus  6, 122 Pernis ptilorhynchus 102 Sea-Eagle, White-bellied  42, 122 Sparrowhawk, Collared  50, 116

Goshawk, Brown  46, 116, 118

131